Sunday, 20 November 2016

Toy lines and First Contact

When a new Transformers or toy line comes out, I generally judge the quality of the whole line on one toy.  Am I the only one?

Recently I’ve been watching the RID2015 cartoon and taken quite a fancy to the Decepticon designs, but having been able to have a look at a friend’s Steeljaw, I was not terribly taken with it, essentially, wishing that he was a bit more complex to make the robot mode look a bit better.


With that in mind, I gave up hope on the line and only bothered with a few of the Transformers Adventures (TAV) – The Japanese RID series toys.  Even then, the toys I picked up were the Japanese versions of toys from earlier lines, such as Japan's answer to BlackJack, Runabout, Animated Swoop, Animated Lockdown, Adams (Cosmos – Generations) and Powerglide(Generations/Combiner Wars).  All these toys were pretty good, but I either already had them, or being from an earlier time knew they were reasonable quality.

Eventually, TAV Scorponok took my eye and seeing some pictures of him online, my curiosity increased, I really liked his monster style robot mode.  Eventually after gaining information that informed me he wasn’t a complete mess of a toy, I tracked one down and bought it.

I was underwhelmed I put the TAV line into the basket along with TF4 toys; Toys to Avoid.

A friend really wanted TAV Windblade.  As did I, the show design I rather liked, but I KNEW that with the simplified toys, it would be bad.  However this opportunity proved a nice testing ground.  I bought my friend his Windlblade, who was a bit hard to find at the time and got permission to open and play with it.

She turned out OK.  Not amazing, but not terrible.  I got one for me.

Then there’s the case of Bisk.  This character I wanted since the start of RID2015/TAV because he has a great name and character design.  A crustacean robot mode and a name of Bisk.

In the meantime, Scorponok had been slowly growing on me, but I still had low impressions of the line as a whole.  Nothing had wowed me like many of the toys in the TR line.  I found Bisk and  I hesitantly bought him thinking at the very best he’ll be a weird novelty character and not a good toy.

I was wrong, I actually really like Bisk as not only a novelty character, but as a cool toy as well.
It was an interesting exercise for me, since had I bought Bisk first off, I’d have a much better opinion of the line as a whole.  I guess it’s very unfair to judge a whole line on one figure.

I kind of thought this as well with the Japanese Legends toys as well, more specifically the new Headmaster toys.  I knew Galvatron was flawed, so I bought him with low expectations.  Skull was my first one toy really enjoy and I was surprised.  Expectations were high.  I then found myself a bit disappointed with Scourge though.  Had Scourge been my first toy of the line I might have not bought as many Legends Headmasters.

So the lesson is this. Don’t judge a line solely on one toy, I guess every line has its bad toys. 
Although I think that can kind of suck if you’re trying to avoid finding too much about about a toy and have to research it.  For me, I like that first transformation and feeling to be something new, whether bad or good.

What about you guys? Have you ever dropped a line because your first toy of that line left a bad impression?  I’d love to hear some stories!

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